In a pretty English village in the stockbroker belt of Surrey lives the infamous Mr Wallace, whose hoarding habits have spread across a million pounds worth of property that used to belong to his parents. His detached bungalow, four-bedroom semi-detached house and separate double garage are all literally stuffed from floor to ceiling with newspapers and other household items. Cutting Edge is given unique access into his intriguing home, where no one has ever ventured.
Mr Wallace is arguably the UK’s most extreme hoarder and his house has become a death trap. It is so packed that he has to crawl over mountains of papers and magazines simply to move from room to room – getting to his front door from the chair he eats and sleeps in takes 40 minutes. The garden also acts as a dumping ground for tonnes of refuse so old that it is overgrown by foliage and trees. The council has tried to force Richard Wallace to clear his garden but he fought them to the Crown Court, representing himself and winning.
A year on, things are coming to a head as the picturesque village is competing to win Britain in Bloom and Richard’s home is once again the source of contention. But with the hoarding now affecting his ability to function, Richard is entrenched to the point where his health is suffering, his safety is increasingly at risk and he is living in a physical and mental prison. This time, the village’s sense of community is truly tested and Richard faces the most significant challenge yet to his isolating way of life.